I finally got a hold of the famous yet almost-impossible-to-find Daiso fountain pen!
The reason why this pen is so difficult to find is because many pen enthusiasts have bought so many of these pens that stocks of this pen are cleared regularly in a very short span of time. By the time you see reports of sightings of this pen on Facebook, the pen would have been gone.
I’ve heard of this fountain pen for years, but never in my life have I spotted one at Daiso… until yesterday!
Since fate has decided that I am finally worthy enough to have an encounter with this pen at the Vivocity branch, I decided it might be worthwhile to purchase one to give it a try.
After all, I was very curious to know what all the hype was about. What’s so good about a $2 pen that drives people to buy so many of them? Is it just the price? For spare parts? Or does it have a really nice feeling when writing?
I was curious. So I bought one.
I was too excited that I forgot to take a photo of the pen in its packaging. So here’s how it looks like (with the packaging torn):
It comes in two colours: white and silver. I got the silver one because it seems that the white one might turn yellow very quickly (I generally avoid white-coloured objects for the same reason).
Here’s a closer look at the pen:
Here’s a look at the nib:
Overall, the pen has a nice weight and feel. Compared to other cheap fountain pens, it’s rather light; but it is a little heavier compared to other cheapo plastic ballpoint pens. Nonetheless, it is a good weight that will allow you to write a lot with a sense of stability.
Thankfully, it writes quite nicely. In fact, it’s quite a smooth writer.
Here’s a sample:
However, I realised the nib is rather soft. If you have a tendency to write hard (i.e. apply a lot of pressure on your pen), the tines of the nib will bend very easily.
I suspect it’s made of aluminium because of how easily the nib bends (and how easy it is to bend it back into place). This is encouraging, at least for me, to know that aluminium works pretty well as a metal for pen nibs. I think I might try to get a thick piece of aluminium (either from a soda can or otherwise) and try making my own fountain pen nib. Correction: It turns out it isn’t made of aluminium. I’m even more amazed that it’s so soft compared to other steel nibs.
I think this is a good pen for someone who wishes to switch from a crappy cheapo ballpoint pen to a fountain pen. It’s a good way to try out fountain pens at a very low cost. The pen uses the standard international size, so you can easily buy ink cartridges or even a converter (a refillable ink pump) for cheap at Art Friend. The converter costs about SGD$3. You can easily get ink cartridges for a few dollars as well.
As I already have a favourite writing pen that writes so much better than the Daiso one, I won’t use this as my standard writing pen (the Daiso pen writes well, it just isn’t as pleasurable as the other pen I’m using).
Instead, I decided that I’ll use this as an art pen for sketching. It’s light and I wouldn’t be upset if I were to lose or damage this pen in the process of sketching stuff while on the go.
Hurray for cheap pens!
Anyway, it really makes you wonder what the true cost of a fountain pen really is, and whether it’s really worth the money buying expensive pens. Why spend $50, $100, $300 or more for an expensive pen when there are fountain pens out there (esp. the Hero ones) that cost $1-2 and they write sooooo well, even better than many expensive pens (from experience).
Well, this has been fun.